Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Header

New header for a new month. It's been awhile.


I have friends that blog about how fun it is to clip coupons, shop discounts and get things for much cheaper than the sticker price. I have a sister who thinks that buying a McDonald's ice cream cone is splurging. And many, many people know how to live without because they can't afford it. I have another friend who seems to be making a boatload of money, which is probably true - but the reason he can drop hundreds of dollars on new furniture all within a week is because he is the master at budgeting.

I am not these people.

I need to be these people. It would be much better if any one of these hijacked my account and made sure I couldn't get my grimy hands on my own money. Mostly because 1) I don't have money and 2) I still spend like I do have money. Which leads to very stressful situations, or what I think of as dire situations. And I have to start thinking about getting a second job. Or planning my future.  Because anyone who knows me knows that I am not meant to live a poor life. Partly because I don't know how to say "no" to things that I want or go without what I need.

(And if anyone mentions a particular $450.00 ticket to Ohio... leave your argument at the door.)

The most recent problem came (not because of the aforementioned plane ticket) but because I had to pay first and last month's rent, on top of a deposit that was supposed to be paid by the girl I bought my contract from, and on top of all of that, rent that I didn't know I owed. Which depleted my savings. Completely.

So basically the money that I have been saving for months and months to go to London has been wiped out entirely. And what little I had left in my savings account has had to transfer over to cover basic bills. I am waiting for my deposit from the other apartment and the deposit from this girl - though I am doubting that she is really going to pay up.

So how do you turn $0 into money for a trip to New York, Scotland, Ohio and Ohio again and still afford groceries, bills, bills and more bills, gas money and frequent dining out.

You can't. And that's soooooooooooo depressing.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Grocery Store

Today I had to go to the grocery to get milk for work. I also picked up two bottles of hand soap, toilet paper, a case of water bottles and plastic forks and spoons.

I tell you the shopping list only because I want you to count: seven items.

Which totally entitles me to use the 10 items or less self-checkout. But when I pull my basket up, the old guy running the self-checkouts tells me that I shouldn't use that one, but move to a different one. It would have been totally easy for me to move my basket full of items to the other one, but for some reason, I felt defensive. Why was he telling me what to do?

I'm not some 90-year old woman that doesn't know how technology works. I've worked at a grocery store before. I'm pretty proficient on the self-checkouts.

So I thank him for his concern, but tell him that I am perfectly fine on the checkout that I've chosen. He gives me this spiel on why the checkout that he wants to move me to is better (it isn't) and again I say thanks and continue to unload my cart.

I managed with absolutely no problems whatsoever. Despite his warning that you could only do two to three "skip bagging" items on the smaller checkout. (I only had one. On the most-case scenario, I would have had three, tops.) I am grateful for this knowledge though. It seems like something one should know.

When I left, I wished him a good afternoon, and he ignored me.

Oh well.

As I unloaded my car, I realized this is why my friends think I'm so crusty, and I wonder what they would have done. Probably have been pansies and moved to where the guy told them to move.

Reverse Psychology

Reverse psychology is defined as telling a person something that is the opposite of what you want him to do or believe. German psychologists Adorno and Horkheimer theorized that people respond in an opposite or reverse direction of what they are told, and this theory has been tested and proved since the idea's debut in the late 1970s.

Several of my friends have gotten married this month or gotten engaged and a couple have broken up. All of these status changes have put me in mind of relationships - of the romantic and long-lasting sorts - and how I haven't had much experience with them and how I don't know much about things of this nature, at all. I've also been thinking of how I'm 24 years old and will be turning 25 in just a few short months (I try to forget this last part. Partially because I don't like that I am getting older and not really doing much with my life; but mostly because November means cold weather. I'm dreading the cold weather. While I am not really prepared to be 25, I am even less prepared for snow and coats and winter...*shudder*).

Anyway, the more I've thought about it, the more I've realized that nothing is going to happen until I come to terms with the fact that something might never happen. Not that that is what I really believe, but I am going to have to get to a point where I do believe it...or nothing is ever going to happen. Reverse psychology, see?

The advice you hear from those recently "caught" are the ones who say, "I had just given up," or "I wasn't ready/looking," or "That was the last thing on my mind."

Of course, I've always known this, but thought it was stupid. Because as soon as you want to stop thinking about something, the more you think about it. Just like as soon as you start dieting, you want to eat more Sweet Tooth Fairy cupcakes (yum).  So even when I seem perfectly contented in my single life, which is more often than not, and try to make that step to being completely satisfied with single life... well, the more I realize how my full-sized bed feels like it is a mile wide and the more I resent how truly happy my friends are that are married and the more I get jealous of those that aren't even that happy, but are just in relationships. Lame.

So somehow, I've got to truly and honestly convince myself that I am 100% completely resolved to live the life of a nun. Totally ready to be that somewhat eccentric, overly-happy, self-loving, joy-to-be-around, wants to be the BEST aunt (and only an aunt) for the rest of my days, ambitious, successful, SINGLE career woman, with no thoughts of men, romance, love, companionship, parenthood, partnership, empty bed forever, loneliness, etc.

After this, and only after this, will I find what I am not craving at all. It's like some spiritual journey that involves monks and ancient temples and finding your inner chi, but not. Instead you're finding tickets for one, third-wheel style weekends and way, way too much estrogen in your "much needed" girls' nights.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. The journey of a perfectly contented single life begins with.... what? Someone let me know, so I can get started.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Yesterday I dropped off submittals at a contractor's before heading home from work. Because of where this contractor is located, I took my favorite "back road" in Provo/Orem. After going through a round about, I found myself following this old man wearing a tricorn hat. (See picutre.) I already noticed how awesome his white, vintage Jeep was, but then I noticed the hat. I loved it.

As we continued down towards a new street, there was a guy just trudging along with a contented smile on his face. As the white Jeep passed him, I watched as his head turned to follow, and then when the Jeep had completely the passed the man laughed. My windows were down, so I heard his laugh. He even took a second to bend and place his hands on his thighs and then he stood up straight and continued on. The laugh made me giggle. I was already smiling because of the hat, but the walking man's laugh totally brightened my day.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Moving Away

Growing up in Ohio meant that many of my friends were not LDS. And those of my friends that were LDS, always seemed to move away. I've been thinking about these friends - some of which I've been able to get back in touch with and others who seem lost forever - because several of my good friends have moved away this month. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, I've been through the experience enough, but it still is sad.

Tawnee Johnson - Tawnee was my best friend when I was a wee little girl. I remember slumber parties at her house, playing mancala and legos (our legos would sleep together *gasp*) and potpourri fights down in her unfinished basement. We would always leave the fights smelling flowery fresh, thinking that her parents didn't know what we were doing. But once, her dad made a comment to Tanner and asked if he was wearing perfume. We tried really hard not to look guilty, but I don't think we succeeded. She had an older sister named Billie, and two younger brothers Tanner and Mac. They would make jokes about Mac being a cannibal when he ate mac-and-cheese. I always wanted Amy to marry Tanner and Tawnee and I would plan their wedding. They weren't allowed to fart at the dinner table, so I distinctly remember Tawnee and Tanner and Mac all getting up and standing just in the door frame of the dining room to do just that.  Tawnee had asthma, and once when we were playing in the basement of her neighbor's house, I had to run back to her house to get her inhaler. I thought she was going to die. When she moved, I was really sad.

Ashley Wright (Belnap) - The Wrights (now Belnaps) were friends of our parents, which meant that we spent many Sundays playing at their house. It worked out well because they had two girls around mine and Amy's age and for the most part we got along great and played all sorts of games like... that one where you pass around something and it is supposed to be a dog bone or a button? I don't remember. Both my dad and their dad played basketball and all of us would go to the stake center and listen to my mom and Donna heckle the refs and cheer for the team, and I just remember that whole family being hilarious...they still are hilarious. Since my parents are good friends with their parents, we would see each other every few years. It was always really awkward at first, trying to reconnect and find the friendship. We were successful nearly every time, though. Once, when they were in Ohio visiting, the four of us girls lay near our bedroom window overlooking the street and shouted things at the pedestrians (likely drunks from the Irish pub we live across the street from). We did this until we thought we were caught and police lights started flashing nearby.

Paige Schwendiman - Paige came later in elementary, just before junior high. We had a lot of slumber parties too, and Amy was friends with her sister Lauren. Sometimes the four of us got along, and sometimes we all fought. And usually, it was the sisters that were fighting and it made it awkward for everyone. When they spent the night at our house, we would play Nintendo...usually Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers. I remember dragging them to the pool and swimming even though our lips were blue. I got really attached to Paige, and when she told me they were moving to California, I was devastated. Even more so that she was excited to be leaving instead of sad that she was going. When I came to BYU, I don't know how, but we found out that we lived near each other and did lunch a few times.

Jessica Bradfield - Jessica was funny. Not in a laugh-out-loud, hysterical sort of a way. But in a, "I can't believe what you are telling me sort of way." She was tall and skinny with long strawberry, blond hair. She insisted that she was a leg model, basketball player for the Dayton Flyers and a bunch of other things that weren't true. We tried to get her to play young women's basketball because we needed the extra girls and she was tall. She also had told us that she played, but when we got down to the details, we realized that it couldn't be true. She told us that she played for a team in Dayton, but she never had to go to practice because, "Her coach understood how far away she lived." She couldn't attend our games because she had games of her own. We finally convinced her to come play, and when she did...she was terrible. Uncoordinated, not aggressive, couldn't defend, dribble or shoot. It was amazingly bad. We did not insist that she play after that one game. Still, she was my one friend in junior high, but at the end of one year, her mom decided that she hated Ohio and they packed up and moved away. We kept in touch through letter writing for a while, but then the letters grew further and further apart and then they stopped.

Jessica Hobbs - Jessica was my best friend since first grade. In fourth grade, we were separated and not put in the same class, and then fifth and sixth the same thing, but we managed to remain friends. We did crazy things. Spent entire summers together. Our houses were interchangeable. We built forts in the "woods" behind her house. We walked everywhere together. Jessica never actually moved, but she did move on. In sixth grade she started becoming friends with another Jessica in her class and that was the start of her expanding her circle. I never needed more than one or two friends at a time, and have never been good at making friends. By tenth grade, she was out going to parties and hanging out with people that I didn't know. She had a nickname, "Headshot Hobbs" which I had no idea what that meant. And then I started hearing rumors about what she was doing... or whatever, and I didn't know how to handle the news. At one point, I thought that Jess would join the church eventually. She came to church, all the dances, the midweek activities, she even came to seminary with me freshman year. I thought that she didn't swear, drink, etc. because she didn't want to, but I guess she didn't do it in front of me. By junior year, I was off to Edison and she stayed at the high school no matter how much I tried to get her to come with me. It was at that point that we really drifted apart. We tried to keep our friendship going, but in the end, it was a lot of work and by graduation, I was done. Every now and again, we will "catch up" on Facebook. But for the most part, I do not see or hear much from her. When we had our falling out (more dramatic for me than her, I think) I thought that I had wasted eleven years of my life on our friendship. But I've since come to realize how special our friendship was while it lasted, and that people grow up and move on, and that's all that has happened with us.

Now it seems like moving is inevitable. Our futures are volatile. Within months we can be accepted to grad school, offered a job, get married, have a baby....etc. etc. And then, gone. Luckily, Facebook and email and texting allows us to stay better connected, and it's harder to lose track of friends even if you still lose the connection that you have before. People change and sometimes all that is left are the memories and good times. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Welcome to the Neighborhood

After much procrastinating, I managed to move out of my Single Tree apartment and into my new apartment in the Neighborhood.

Things I like about the Neighborhood:
  • I think
  • There's a front and back door.
  • Our pool - though it is showing signs of being eerily similar to the "Not tub" at the Omni. Hopefully they will take down the "pool closed" sign before it snows next month.
  • The fireplace
  • My bedroom is HUGE, and will look like it once all my stuff is actually put away and not in boxes all over the place.
  • The full-sized bed. (I'm moving up in the world!)
  • There are benches and picnic tables outside. Apparently this is optimal to keep me out of the parks reading late at night. I think it a fine idea.
  • The location is pretty central, but still off University, so it's 1) quiet, 2) sort of secluded and 3) close to everything.
  • I have a BIG window in my room.
  • Parking is RIGHT NEXT to my apartment.
  • My roommates all seem really, really cool. I'm excited to get to know them, and force them to be my new girlfriends.
  • It already feels pretty homey, and I've only been there for two nights.
  • The water pressure in the shower feels so good!
Things I do not like about the Neighborhood:
  • The upstairs (where my room is located) is TOO HOT! The AC hasn't touched it, my piddly fan doesn't help spread the cold air coming from the one vent in my room. I've had to go to some pretty extreme measures in order to bear it: freezing cold showers right before bed, skimpy (read: no) pajamas, etc. I've turned up the A/C (down the temperature) and it only just occurred to me that I'm probably freezing my roommates who live in the basement.
  • The space is a definite luxury in our apartment, with two girls on the top floor and two on the bottom and a whole floor separating us, we are not living on top of one another. This is a good thing, and should probably be on the list above, but: Since I'm trying to force my new roommates to be my friends, it is difficult when I never actually see any of them. I hope to remedy this next week by not being busy every night of the week.
  • The kitchen is tiny. The cupboard space is meager and not well-organized as is. The drawers... let's just say that I'm probably going to manage to dump all the contents on the floor before I learn that they are not secure on a track. 
  • The cable jack in the front room is on the side of the wall that I would prefer to have covered with the couch. I would like the fireplace to be open so we can use it... we'll see how this plays out later in the year.
I'll post pictures once I get my room put together. There have been goings away dinner parties, wedding celebrations and things like such as going all week, and I haven't had time to empty my car yet! Hopefully this weekend, if I don't drop dead from exhaustion!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Office Decor

Today at work I spent most the time watching the guys remove my old cabinets and replace them with new, bigger ones. For months I've been feeling buried, with every nook and cranny of my desk filled with something or another (usually papers and binders...) and so I asked for more storage space.

It's different working with the guys because I'm used to standing next to my dad, at the ready, so I can go fetch things. But these three did everything without me lifting a finger. Not to mention, they provided plenty of comedic relief as well. So basically, I watched them work while laughing the whole time. All and all, not a bad day!

The original cabinets.

Taking them down.
NEW CABINETS! Notice the clean counter top space? That was filled with binders, now stored in the new cabinets. I'm very excited.
Now, working with all men is an interesting experience. My boss was talking about replacing the clock (you can see the clock on the left hand side of the picture) with a deer head that he shot. Apparently, the deer had originally hung there, but the previous secretary didn't like him staring at her while she worked. The point is that men don't usually know anything about decorating unless it has something to do with a stuffed previously-living creature.

Which is probably why none of them know what this is:

Of course, anyone can see that it is an artichoke, on a pedestal. With a ribbon tied around it. But no, not in our office. In our office it is the butt of many jokes. Simply because, it is referred to as the "butt plug." It's gross, I know. But I do kind of see their point, and really, whoever decorated the office should have known the type of men we work with... even still, the butt plug provides an endless amount of jokes and so it stays.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Graduation, Family Reunion and Kelsie

I just returned from our annual Armstrong Family Reunion in Winchester, Kentucky. This year was awesome because it seemed like almost everyone was there (we missed my Uncle Eric's family and of course, Bradley!) and the weather was practically perfect.

The trip got off to a rocky start, and ended up costing me more than I anticipated. Of course, I could have chosen to wait the extra day and waste a perfectly good work day... but I opted to buy a new plane ticket and get the dodge out of Utah and to Ohio on time. I'm glad I did it, but things are going to be financially tighter than I was expecting due to other unforeseen charges that I didn't know I had. Darn.

Anyway, after dealing with trying to find a flight that would get me to Dayton; a delay in Chicago and then having then board the plane only to turn around and empty it again in order to change a tire and then reboard -- and then leaving my luggage behind --; my mom getting pulled over for speeding at 1:30 a.m., etc. I made it.

Wednesday I spent the day watching Kelsie. And honestly, if she isn't the smartest, cutest baby in the world... well, there is no if. I mean, I'm sure she isn't like a prodigy or anything. But she's dang smart. And way cuter in person (which I didn't think was possible). I had so much fun playing with her and interacting and just watching her. She's funny, too. (YES! FUNNY. I don't care what people say, babies are funny.) Ashley came down from Columbus and I got to show her all the major landmarks of my childhood. She bore it well, and I was so happy that she was willing to come visit me. We went to El Sombrero's -- delicious.

Thursday I went shopping with Amy. She has a really cute figure, and so she can wear some really fun dresses. Kelsie went with us and entertained me in between Amy changing in and out of dresses. Then we went to Friendly's -- delicious.

Friday it was off to Wesley Woods for the reunion. The cabin seemed to be full by the time we got there, and people were taking other people's bunks and messing up what our family has done for years. Which meant, I got kicked to the top bunk. It wasn't as bad as I was expecting. We ate like kings - like we always do and played Banana Grams. It was too cold at night to go swimming, which was different. And I was too lazy to change in and out of my swim suit.

My family is incredible. I don't know if I've mentioned that before, but they totally surprised with me with my very own mock graduation. Of course, we were at camp, so I looked like trash and that was really appreciated. Chloe distracted me by making me play at the playground with the kids and then when we came back up they had the graduation march going and made me sit and watch a video that Camille made. Craig emceed the whole thing and my Uncle David and Dad got up and spoke. I felt embarrassed and ugly and foolish and sorry for everyone that had to sit and watch the whole thing. And I felt completely overwhelmed with love and support. When I got up to accept my "diploma" I was, of course, crying. My family is just really awesome and supportive and proud each other's accomplishments and I like it.

When we got back from the reunion I tried to renew my license, but I shouldn't have been surprised that the system was down state-wide and I couldn't do it. So I went to King's Island instead and rode many rides, including the Flight of Fear, which is my favorite. We saw gross people, fat people and lots of white trash people. Seriously, we were the most attractive people there. There was absolutely no eye candy. Which means, even if I want to move back to Ohio, I can't. Because if there aren't attractive non-members, then there certainly aren't going to be attractive members of the church. Sad. Of course, King's Island isn't really the best sample of people seeing as how amusement parks tend to attract the unattractive. I don't know what it is...but it's true.

After King's Island, Sabrina took me to Bob Evans -- more delicious than I even remembered, which considering how I crave their cheesy potato soup and rolls on a regular basis, is saying something.

Over all the trip was too short, very pleasant and worth every penny. I just wish I had taken more pictures.

Monday, August 02, 2010

The Execution

By royal decree, official declaration and in general consensus within the mob, this textbook of statistics has been found guilty of committing crimes against humanity, inflicting unjust pain and suffering and inciting public disorder among the masses.

In full recognition that no amount of money made from ransom of this book will ever recompense for its crime, and in full understanding that simply throwing this book of statistics into the trash is too good a fate the following punishment has been decided. This book of statistics is heretofore released into the hands of the executioners who are free to inflict as much pain and suffering as was done by this book of statistics. Appointed executioners are to continue with sanctioned abuse and shall not stop until this book of statistics has been completely and utterly destroyed both physically, mentally, emotionally or otherwise, as was done to its victims.

This sentence is in effect immediately.

The Official Executioner

The Driver and Official Executioner

The Torture
The Fire

"I wasted time, and now time doth waste me." - Shakespeare

And other STATS related posts on Facebook.

  • "Dear Stats, ... I don't even have the hear to finish a letter to you. How will I ever finish the class?"
  • Packing is better than stats, but not by much.
  • If Stats were a person, I'd hire a hit man. No questions asked.
  • If Stats were a person, he/she would not be a part of my exclusive club.
  • If Stats were a person, she'd be an old maid.
  • If Stats were a person, I'd sanction a witch hunting expedition - as long as stats ended on the pyre.
  • Even if it WERE snowing, raining and crapping outside, it'd be too nice a day to do stats.
  • If Stats were a person, he'd be worth more alive than dead...but I'd kill him anyway.
  • If Stats were a person, I'd make sure I would set my alarm for every hour in the morning, starting at 3 a.m. I would never hear it...but I know she would.
  • Feeling very violent towards stats today.
  • "And the Dark Lord (Statistics) will mark her as his equal, but she will have power the Dark Lord knows not...and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives." From Harry Potter
  • It's cold and rainy outside...and with only stats to keep me warm, I think I'll just go to bed! 
  • I feel a tantrum coming on. Must be time to do stats.
  • Not going to Korea because of Stats. Can we just send stats to North Korea? They'd know what to do with him.
  • "Whadja expect? To come back to me after a month and a half of neglect and remember everything we shared? Forget it!" - Stats. 
  • Started quiz on Wed, 15 Jul 2009, 11:45 AM. Completed Sat, 17 Oct 2009, 5:43 PM. Time taken, 94 days 5 hours. Guess it's a good thing there is no time limit.
  • A day of frustration and tears. Neat.
  • "Interpret the y-intercept in context even though that doesn't make sense." - Thank you stats, because I enjoy when the questions don't make sense. Joke's on you though, I just got a 15/15 when I was too lazy even to cheat and my eyes were out of focus. TAKE THAT! 
  • Remember how stats is the most baleful, malefic canker in my life? Well, I certainly never forgot.
  • Stats exhausts me from the tips of my toes to my migraine-filled head.
  • "...from Hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee." - Moby Dick
It's easy to see that the past year and a half, I've had plenty to say about this most dreaded subject.

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